The Books of Magic #1: The Invitation by Carla Jablonski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This story was apparently a novelised version of a former comic written by Neil Gaiman. I’ve never read (or even heard of) the comic so whether it does it justice or not, I have no idea.
I’ve also read other reviews on this book, which say this book is very Harry Potterish. In my opinion, the two books are totally different. I never once thought of Harry Potter whilst reading this book. Yes, there’s a young, dark-haired boy in both books, but that’s were the resemblance ends.
But I did think of other books I’ve read: Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, The Time Machine, Howl’s Moving Castle, just to name a few. There are snippets in the story that reminded me of these other stories. Sometimes the reminder was quite strong, other times it was a familiarity tugging at my memory.
Overall, the book isn’t badly written. However, at times I wondered if it was in fact written for the younger audience as there’s lots of smoking in it, the odd sexual innuendo, and other situations that I wouldn’t want my young reader (if I had one) to be reading. I found myself asking if the original comic might have been written for an older audience, but haven’t bothered to research this thought (I just don’t have the time).
The storyline is about magic. If we believe in it, it will be around us. If we don’t believe it, we will live in a purely scientific world. Being a bit of a believer in all things mystical, I liked the idea of this. Believe and it will happen. I can see myself falling hook, line and sinker for this notion.
There was nothing wrong with the characters. The storyline is fast moving most of the time and something is always happening. No wonder the young boy in the story was exhausted! It kept my interest, but…
I don’t know what the ‘but’ is. Something wasn’t right. Maybe it was all the things I’ve already written about. Maybe it was something else. I really don’t know. I think I’d be willing to read the second book in the series to see where the story goes from here, to see if the missing ingredient is found. The plot has potential so I’m hoping the second book will delivery.